1997 Chevy Chevy Van Review
1997 Chevy Chevy Van Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Fresh design, wide rear cargo doors, dual airbags, powerful optional engines
- Intrusive engine cover, odd taillight design, still not as slick as Ford Econoline
Dual airbags appear on the G3500 model, while daytime running lights and three fresh exterior colors make this van easier to see. (Editor's Note: If you can't see this monster van without DRL's, perhaps you should consider surrendering your driver's license.) Electronic variable orifice steering reduces effort at low speeds for easier parking, and automatic transmissions shift more smoothly.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 1997 Chevrolet Chevy Van G3500 3dr Van and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of N/A undefined in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Not Available for Chevy Van G3500
Chevy Van G3500
Avg. Midsize Van
Last year, for the first time in 25 years, Chevy dealers received a brand new, completely redesigned, full-size van to sell. Well, sort of. The supply of 1996 models was little more than a trickle as the factory suffered through teething problems. The Chevy Van (the cargo hauler) and the Express (the people hauler) were expected to arrive in dealer showrooms last spring. For 1997, the bugs have been worked out at the plant, and consumers might actually find one of these new vans on a dealer's lot. Equipped with dual airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Chevrolet is looking forward to stealing some of Ford's thunder in the full-size van market.
Rugged full-frame construction replaces the unibody setup of the previous-generation Chevy Van. Preferred by converters, full-frame construction allows for improved stability, ride and handling. Regular-length models carry 267 cubic feet of cargo, and extended-length vans can haul 317 cubic feet of stuff. Trick rear doors open 180 degrees to make loading and unloading the new van easier. Up to 15 passengers can ride in the extended-length Express, which ought to make this new van a hit with shuttle services. Other seating options include five, eight and twelve passenger arrangements. G3500's can tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped.
For convenience, the full-size spare is stored underneath the cargo floor. A 31-gallon fuel tank keeps this thirsty vehicle from frequent fill-ups, but topping off an empty tank will quickly empty your wallet. Engine choices are sourced from the Chevrolet family of Vortec gasoline motors, and, for the first time, a turbocharged diesel can be installed in Chevy's full-size van. Available are the Vortec 4300 V-6, the 5000, 5700, and 7400 V-8's, and a new 6.5-liter Turbodiesel V-8. Standard side cargo doors are a 60/40 panel arrangement, but a traditional slider is a no-cost option on 135-inch wheelbase vans.
Child safety locks are standard on the rear and side doors of the Express. Passenger assist handles help passengers into and out of the van. Front and rear air conditioning is optional. For 1997, G3500 get dual airbags. Also new are daytime running lights, smoother shifting automatic transmissions, and electronic variable orifice power steering that reduces effort at low speeds, making these vans easier to park.
Exterior styling is an interesting mix of corporate Chevrolet, Astro Van and Lumina Minivan. The high, pillar-mounted taillights are odd, but functional. They can easily be seen if the van is operated with the rear doors open. Low-mounted bumpers and moldings make the Express look taller than it is. An attractively sculpted body side gives the van's smooth, slab-sided flanks a dose of character. Three new colors arrive for 1997, in shades of brown, red, and silver.
Overall, Chevrolet's thoughtful rendition of the traditional full-size van appears to be right on target, giving Ford's Econoline/Club Wagon the first real competition it has faced in years.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
3.63 out of 5 stars
A Van is a Van?
1995 Chevrolet Chevy Van G20 3dr Ext Van
I have a G20 conversion van with which I pull a loaded 4400 lb trailer. I have never been without praise for the van. It has been durable as I travel over 45K a year .... The van now has well over 300k and is still going strong.
4.88 out of 5 stars
1994 Chevrolet Chevy Van G20 3dr Ext Van
This vehicle is a conversion done by Explorer. Captain's chairs front and center with the bench seat in the back that makes down into a bed. Mechanically, the van has exceeded initial expectations. Got it used with approx 60K miles. Made many long trips with kids as well as daily 3o mile commute to work. Still on original motor. Driver's side window has been biggest problem; power window … motor has gone out 3 times. Passenger side window motor has gone out twice. Initially got 15/19 mpg. Due to excess miles, now gets 12/14. Usual mechanical/electrical problems that go with most aging cars, but all have been repaired when they arise and the van is still going.
3.38 out of 5 stars
Fun to drive
1993 Chevrolet Chevy Van G20 3dr Van
I just bought a 93 van. Its my first Van and first GM product. It has 198K and still runs good. Smokes a little on start up but that's expected for its age and mileage. A/C had some minor issues with leaks that I fixed. 4.3L surprisingly has enough power. Gas mileage has been fairly good also considering its age and size of the vehicle. Very fun to drive. We are planning several road … trips now and will be using this van to site see the states.
4.38 out of 5 stars
deer old friend
deer old friend, 04/07/2009
1995 Chevrolet Chevy Van G30 3dr Van
I can't say enough of my van. I purchased this van w/29k original miles on it. It is a conversion van w/a 6cyl. We live in San Antonio and have gone to Colorado w/ no problems. This year we went to New Mexico and hit a deer about 1 hour into our trip in the Texas hill country. The grill disintegrated and bent my radiator and transmission cooler. I thought my vacation was over. I am a die … hard Chevy lover. This van was able to go all the way to Santa Fe w/no problems. Had to replace the battery in Ruidoso because it was leaking. I put 2k miles on this vacation w/no problem at all. This van has never let me down!!
We have a limited number of reviews for the 1997 Chevrolet Chevy Van, so we've included reviews for other years of the Chevy Van since its last redesign.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – Original0
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested